SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is catching a lot of heat over its tentative decision to award next year’s health insurance contract for state workers to Blue Cross Blue Shield.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports, the decision is still under protest.

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LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

State Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) argues the health care vendor must provide adequate coverage for the entire state, but Blue Cross does not have provider networks established in 64 downstate counties.

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Rose questioned the state’s Chief Procurement Officer Matt Brown during a hearing on the subject.

“Would it surprise you to know that when I spoke to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s folks, that they indicated that they have no intention of coming into these underserved areas?” Rose asked.

“I can’t speak to that,” Brown replied.

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Representatives of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Procurement Office says they can’t comment on the specifics of the contract, nor the procurement process, until the protest period ends.